Matchless HC-85

ROKY

Member
Messages
7,185
Next to the Superchief(& to a slightly lesser extent, Chief..) I've always
lusted after one of these rare beasties .. the HC-85.

There's one on the 'bay right now, and of course I can't afford it.

Anybody here happen to own one ?
Ever spent any quality time with one ?

I'd love to hear all about it .

an HC-30 circuit w/ EL34s instead and even bigger trannies ..:drool:drool :drool :drool:drool
 
  • Like
Reactions: Roe

clothwiring

Member
Messages
6,813
Now I love my Matchless, but I definitely go with "how does one use that much power?" A buddy of mine has a Chief and he never turns it up past 2 or so...1 normally.
 

voodoosound

Funk & Grooven member
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,000
Had the Supercheif. It was a beast both in weight and sound. Great sounding amp but to much juice for just about any application. I would not own another one.
 

mj07

Supporting Member
Messages
2,116
Great thing about the supercheif I've got is that it sounds good at almost any volume. No bedroom amp here, but the volume and master go together well as far as getting a usable volume level with good tone. I gravitate towards the higher wattage amps because most just have more headroom.
 

hbentley

Member
Messages
1,355
early last year there was a red supercheif with matching 4x12 cab at a local guitar center for a reasonable price strangely. i played it and really liked it. i decided i'd sleep on it. i went back to buy it and it was gone. then i saw one with the cab on ebay a couple months ago for something like 9K!!!!
 

Kiwi

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,053
As the owner of an (allegedly 35w) Clubman, and a (supposedly 30w) DC-30, both of which are the loudest amps in their weight class ... plus the next two classes up .... and then into Marshall Major territory ...

The thought of the structural demolition that Matchless would produce with 85w alarms me.
 

guitarded_1

Supporting Member
Messages
1,321
Now that is interesting. I have the old style Phoenix with the HC-30 layout. I assume that the circuit is basically the same as an HC-30. It has dual EL 34's and is very loud and huge sounding. Man...it sounds so freakin' good. I really want a Clubman as well. The HC-85 is probably way too loud to give up the goods at a reasonable volume. I'm sure that it sounds God-like when cranked.
 

reddgeetarzan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,683
Surprisingly, it just sounds BIGGER at all volumes. Yes, it can get loud, but you'd be surprised that its not obnoxiously loud as you think. I've owned a few HC-30's and found with the Class A design, the wattage can be deceiving in terms of volume. I also found that the amplifier seemed to lose volume as it ran hotter through a gig (toward the end of the night I ALWAYS had it cranked!!)- this problem is solved with the HC-85- and it also has a much better clean tone, as you'd expect. It still gets that Vox like chime- but it does it with a bit more authority. Its kinda like the difference with a Marshall non master 50 vs. 100 watt- you don't really get double the volume, you just get more balls and more headroom. The difference here, I suppose since the Matchless is a true class A desing (the Marshalls are not)- it also gets the sweetness the HC30 has. In the Marshalls case- the 50 watters had a sweetness in the mid the 100's didn't and the 100's had the supreme low end "gutsy/ballsy" tone the 50 couldn't acheive.
Running this at half power you can get a good tone and not kill the neighbors, the dog, or the guy in the front row.....but since I always seem to be the guy pointing my amp at the guy in the front row, I can't necessarily speak for him!

Yep, the HC85 is a thing of beauty.......very complex tones- like the 30, but it also has more headroom for a cleaner overall tone. Takes pedals well too- and with a Matchless reverb, which is essentially a preamp AND another volume control, you can get seriously great tones at reasonable volumes.

I also own a '93 Clubman- and I'd take the HC to any gig for the headroom alone- use a good OD pedal, and you've got smokin' tone for days!!! The Clubman is great, but just doesn't have near the clean headroom of the C series amps- plus its a different tone- a bit more aggressive with the 6SH7 preamp......at least in mine.
 

reddgeetarzan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,683
One other thing I forgot to mention- I don't seem to get those "ghost notes" that I seem to always get (especially doing double stops) with the C30's or the Bad Cat Black Cat, for that matter. Also, the EL34's, while they still get a nice chime, can get down right more into the plexi Marshall territory that the EL84 amps don't seem to be able to produce the low "oomph" for.
Hope that makes sense???
 

voodoosound

Funk & Grooven member
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,000
Great thing about the supercheif I've got is that it sounds good at almost any volume. No bedroom amp here, but the volume and master go together well as far as getting a usable volume level with good tone. I gravitate towards the higher wattage amps because most just have more headroom.
I'm glad you are enjoying my old supercheif. It served its purpose well when I had it. have just acquired way to many amps for the studio and folks were choosing the superchief less and less so I decided to let her go.
 

voodoosound

Funk & Grooven member
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,000
early last year there was a red supercheif with matching 4x12 cab at a local guitar center for a reasonable price strangely. i played it and really liked it. i decided i'd sleep on it. i went back to buy it and it was gone. then i saw one with the cab on ebay a couple months ago for something like 9K!!!!
Thats just silly. Matchless will build a new Superchief for $2850. According to the email I got 2 months ago.
 

voodoosound

Funk & Grooven member
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,000
My email response after I inquired 11/20/07:

Hi Rob,

Yes, we’re still making the Superchief. The cost is $2861.00 retail and lead time is about six to eight weeks or sooner if needed.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,
Christine

Matchless Amplifiers
1933 Pontius Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
 
  • Like
Reactions: Roe

drbob1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,594
Now that's a pricey amp! Cool but I dunno, I'd be tempted to run the signal out of the preamp outs on my DC30 into the power section of a 4 EL34 amp. If you have to have the cathode bias (no way 85w is Class A of course, it's cathode bias set up hot like the 30w DC30) you could mod the power section of a Traynor or Sound City or Sunn that are still affordable.
 

tcforec

Member
Messages
537
Heard a brand new Superchief today that someone had custom-ordered from Stu at Fat Sound......Good God what a sonic footprint. Black tolex w/an oversized box and weighed 65 pounds....it was a head only!!!

Sounded fantastic but was loud as hell. Stu was checking out some strats for a friend of mine ('62, '64 & first-year Cunetto that will all probably be for sale there soon) and was absolutely ripping it up. That sound was as good as I've heard in many a moon........but a 65lb head...holy crap.
 




Trending Topics

Top